Become a star presenter: lessons from 5 great film directors

Part 3. Darren Aronofsky: "The biggest crime is to bore an audience.“

From time to time we all experience it: the illusion we have a license to bore. That is when we feel that this time, just this time, we are allowed to be uninteresting, unexceptional, unremarkable.

"I am going to talk about financial results, for God’s sake.”
“Scientists expect data, not entertainment.”
“That’s just an internal meeting, all close colleagues you know.”
“That’s what my boss/client/company expects of me.”
“I didn’t have the time to prepare.”

All presentations have only one purpose and that is to move us, your audience, so that we will remember you and do something with what you just told us. You never ‘have to give a presentation’, you are given an opportunity to connect with us. So be interesting, be exceptional, be remarkable and change our world, no matter how small this change may be.

Read more on film directors.

Photo credit Geirix © 2013 


Become a star presenter: lessons from 5 great film directors

Part 2. Akira Kurosawa: “If it is not interesting, it simply isn’t interesting.”

Preparing to pitch a Venture Capital? An interview for your dream job? Or simply trying to select the best pics for the holiday photo album? Removing all unnecessary elements may well be the most important step to creating a memorable story. Read what legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa has to say about it. 

“No matter how much work the director, the assistant director, the cameraman or the lightning technicians put into a film, the audience never knows. What is necessary is to show them something that is complete and has no excess. When you are shooting, of course, you film only what you believe is necessary. But very often you realize only after having shot it that you didn’t need it after all. You don’t need what you don’t need.

Yet human nature wants to place value on things in direct proportion to the amount of labor that went into making them. In film editing, this natural inclination is the most dangerous of all attitudes.

The most important requirement for editing is objectivity. No matter how much difficulty you had in obtaining a particular shot, the audience will never know. If it is not interesting, it simply isn’t interesting. You may have been full of enthusiasm during the filming of a particular shot, but if that enthusiasm doesn’t show on the screen, you must be objective enough to cut it.”

Read more on great film directors. 

Quotes taken from Kurosawa, Akira. Something Like an Autobiography. Translated by Audie E. Bock, 1983.

Become a star presenter: lessons from 5 great film directors

Part 1. Quentin Tarantino: “When people ask me if I went to film school I tell them, no, I went to films.” 

There are many ways to learn the art of presenting. Most of these involve reading books, taking courses or hiring coaches, which of course are all very useful options. But if you ask me, nothing compares to the real thing. Becoming a great presenter entails watching and studying great presentations, loads of them.

Luckily for us, we live in a time when the most brilliant minds and the most inspiring speakers on earth are just one mouse click away. God bless YouTube for bringing us their faces, their voices and their stories. We can watch them and learn their art any time we want and as often as we like, without even leaving the office. We can study how they walk on stage, open and close their speech, use visuals and build their story. From Martin Luther King to Steve Jobs to Ken Robinson, they are all out there waiting for us, a source of endless inspiration waiting to be tapped. 

Honestly, can you think of a better presentation school?

Read more on great film directors